FG must first tackle security for our economy to improve-ISAN Boss

July 2, 2022 0 By Admin
The National Co-ordinator of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria(ISAN),Dr Anthony Omojola in this interview airs his views about the economy so far in the unfolding year of 2022.He touch on the issues of the Capital Market,fuel subsidy,security,inflation,CBN efforts to boost food production and why Aliko Dangote is no longer the richest man in Africa etc.Excepts
Q:How do you see  the first part of the year 2022 economically speaking?
ANS:Its a mixed bag.The economy has tried in the sense that the federal government have tried in the area of budget implementation.Although there had been hindrances because  Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC)failed the government as a result of the subsidy matter.In the month of June the oil corporation was already operating in a loss and might soon be asking FG for monetary support.
Q:Do you see fuel prices going up any time soon?
ANS:For obvious reasons the government at the centre has determined that they will not increase fuel price again during the life time of the President Muhammadu Buhari tenure.Its my thinking that it would make a lot of sense to increase fuel price.The price could have been moved up a bit to beyond the current N165 per litre.For me i think  refusal to do that is why the revenue short fall is causing more havoc.To add insult to injury NNPC has not been living up to our OPEC oil production quota as a result of oil thieves. So we have not been benefiting from the oil price up-surge as a result of the war between Russia and Ukraine.And the  revenue we get, we use 98% of it to pay interest on our debts.Its clear we are suffering from bad economic policy.The debts are certainly unnecessary and over bloated.Instead of building up such a bloated debts,Buhari could have used private-public partnerships to build the projects that instigated them.This should have enabled us to avoid the heavy loans he took and is taking from China and other sources.
Q:Dr Doyin Salami was appointed by the President to audit the federal accounts…
ANS:(Interrupting) The case of Boko-Haram and Fulani herdsmen appears to be very funny.Because we have not seen anyone that has been arrested,persecuted or jailed.So the government appears lackadaisical in the fight against terrorism. Buhari should step up the fight against terrorism.His appointees should be pro-active and not just pacifying the victims of terrorists after the fact.The should ensure that they are ahead the terrorists in order to prevent their acts.
Q:We have entered the elections and political period ;is the economy gaining or losing as a result?
ANS:Naturally when elections come there are usually more money in the system.Nigerians have learnt how to spend money;they believe the politicians are rogues and those kicking against vote buying appears to be complaining because the largess being shared are not reaching them.Unfortunately majority of them don’t vote because they believe elections are not credible that results have been written before the fact.That is that the results have already been determined before the elections.My only regret is that not many youths are participating in the process.However it would be good to see the programmes of the various political parties and see how they will reflate the economy,provide work for our teeming youths and boost economic productivity.The only cheering news for me in the oil and gas sector is the promise by FG that our refineries will start functioning again during the tail end of the Buhari tenure.
Q:Well that brings us to the second half of the year.What should we expect?
ANS:Well inflation is bound to keep rising.The only unfortunate thing is income distribution is very much un-even so the impact of the inflationary trend will certainly worsen the situation of the poor.And given FG’s failure to curtail the activities of Boko-Haram and the bandits means that they are still hampering our food production.But that is the predicament…Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)support of our food production is not working because of terrorism.The long and short of it is that failures on the security front is not helping out .
Q:So what do you really advice?
ANS:In terms of Agriculture CBN is doing its best.But government needs to put a check to ensue our survival.FG should increase fuel price to say N200 so that that sector will stop bleeding and pacify the agencies,operators and unions.While we wait for Kyari’s NNPC Refineries year end.
Q:What about the Capital Market?
ANS;The capital market is a function of the economy.If you have more inflows the capital market will bubble.Now as it stands,the capital market is operating within the limited conditions of our bad economy.A good number of investors are divesting or changing base.Some of the companies are leaving the country for greener pastures.Some who are not changing base are delisting .I must remark here that Seplat and Mobile business arrangement which was stopped by Muhammadu Buhari who happens to be the Petroleum Minister is very wrong and sent a bad signal to the out-side world.This means that the ease of doing business is yet to really take root in Nigeria.As for the exchanges-they are performing credibly well.By this i mean the NGX,FMDQ and others.
Q:Finally,what about ISAN?
ANS:Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about ISAN. The activities of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria was heavily impacted by Covid-19.But we have  over-come that now.This is our Triennal year.Our Triennal year comes up every three years and its when we hold our national conference and National Executive Council meeting,elections and gala night.We hope to chose a theme that would be very beneficial to national economy.As well we hope for support of important people in the economy and our stakeholders.
Q:Any reaction on the fact that Nigeria’s richest man is no longer the richest man in Africa?
ANS:The issue is that people are fighting for survival,there is no cohesive policy to make the economy better.Therefore its not a surprise that even Aliko Dangote is becoming poorer when compared to his competitors from other economies.